2022...let's be honest
Happy new year!
It's January, and for those of us in the northern hemisphere, it's pretty cold and grey. For me, it's around this time of year that I can get a little gloomy, in tune with the skies. It's that next bout of seasonal depression rearing its head – I have less energy, I can lack focus, and feel as though I have fewer options for embracing life at my usual high-paced velocity.*
But, this time of year after the holidays, entering a new year, is also a time of reflection for many. Just as nature turns inward, so too do many of us. Looking back on the time that was, and often considering what's ahead. This can be exciting, but it can also be daunting, especially with the global pandemic continuing to pose new challenges or uncertainties.
So I connected with Paula Torraco, Life Coach and founder of To Be Honest, which offers transformational coaching and training for individuals and organisations, to get her insight on how to embrace this season and headspace. How do we approach those potentially daunting thoughts, how do we practice reflection and intention meaningfully? And well, it starts with being honest.
In your own time
"The transition between old to new year is a wonderful opportunity for reflecting on what passed and connecting with what wants to emerge within us in the future. When we take time to acknowledge what took place, the fun and the challenges, we can appreciate the silver linings. It can also give us clarity to decide what we want to leave behind if it no longer serves us, and what to bring with us to the new year to help us achieve what we want to manifest."
"I would say there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The 'when' is not as important as one's commitment to the work of reflecting."
"In the northern hemisphere, the cold, shorter days might help one to go inward, reflect and reset, but for others this darkness can pose challenges around thinking ahead to the future.
"Personally, I find a lot of value in the practice of reflection in the new year, but I know of people who prefer to do this kind of work closer to their birthday, as they feel it’s more relevant. While others reflect close to year end, and set intentions during the New Moon as our creativity, intention setting ability and positive energy are at their highest."
"The more we cultivate our connection with Self, the easier it is to understand what’s going on and which space we're operating from. Is it that the time and conditions are not propitious, or is there something else going on?"
Be honest with yourself
"So, if you are feeling daunted, as a first step for anyone who is not clear about the reason why doing this work is so daunting, this set of questions might help you get really honest with yourself...
How am I feeling? What are my energy levels?
What do I need to feel to commit to this work?
When am I at my best creative capacity?
What am I avoiding?
What am I not allowing myself to feel?
What scares me?
What would happen if I achieved/didn’t achieve what I set out to do?
Why is it difficult to prioritise Me-Time to go inwards? Whose needs am I putting before mine?
"Whatever the answers, they are what they are. There’s no need to judge any outcome; there’s no good or bad. They provide information which you can act upon. These questions bring clarity and direction."
"The second step is Self-Love and Acceptance. That everyone else seems to be racing to make new year intentions and resolutions does not mean you are missing out or failing at something, as long as it’s a conscious choice."
"Connecting with yourself, accepting whatever is true to you and acting in alignment with that is how you can approach this work of reflection and set yourself up for a meaningful and intentional year ahead."
Thanks Paula for your wonderful 2022 energy and tips x
*Luckily there are ways of fuelling the fire during winter though – see our post on seasonal cycles for tips!